Supercharge Your Marketing with Lookalike Audiences

Supercharge Your Marketing with Lookalike Audiences 


After more than a decade in the trenches of digital advertising and adtech, I’ve had the privilege of watching this industry evolve and transform. I’ve seen firsthand how the right strategies can transform campaigns. One of the most powerful tools we have today is lookalike audiences and the ability to enhance them with 3rd party data. So, why is this approach essential for scaling your results and maximizing ROI? Let’s explore.


Harness the Power of Lookalike Audiences


Lookalike audiences are crucial for enriching your user targeting strategy in digital marketing campaigns. They offer multiple benefits that can significantly boost your campaign performance:

  • Enhanced Targeting Precision: Reach new users similar to your existing high-value customers, reducing ad spend wastage.
  • Increased ROI: Higher likelihood of conversions, optimizing ad spend for better returns.
  • Expanded Campaign Reach: Enter new markets by targeting similar user segments.
  • Efficient Use of Data: Leverage existing customer data for informed targeting decisions.
  • Deeper Connection with Target Users: Deliver tailored, relevant ad messaging, improving user engagement and experience.
  • Continuous Campaign Improvement: Dynamically refine and update audiences based on new data and feedback.
  • Competitive Advantage: Gain an edge by effectively reaching potential customers before competitors.
  • Cross-Channel Consistency: Ensure a unified targeting strategy and brand messaging across multiple marketing channels.


Creation of Lookalike Audiences: Build from Quality Seed Data


Start with rich, scalable, and accurate seed data (e.g., hashed emails from your subscriber list). The quality of your lookalikes depends on the quality of your seed data. This data can feed directly into marketing platforms, helping you target users who resemble your best customers, driving campaign efficiencies and increasing ROI.


Why are Emails a Powerful Source for Quality Seed Data?

  • High Quality and Relevance: Direct user connection ensures specific and relevant data, containing high-quality information from engaged subscribers or customers.
  • Effective Targeting: Behavioral insights tied to user behaviors like purchase history and engagement. Customer segmentation allows for precise targeting based on user interactions.
  • Data Accuracy: Consistent updates by users maintain the accuracy and relevance of the email list.


Supercharging Lookalike Audiences


Enhance your lookalike audiences by blending them with additional behavioral signals, such as purchase data (e.g., Moneris transactional signals from Canada’s largest POS provider) or psychographic data (demographic, brand, and retail affinity). This approach, known as Audience Architecture, ensures you target users with the right behaviors for conversion.


Why is it Important to Further Enhance Lookalikes with Additional Quality Data?


While emails are powerful, combining them with other types of data can create even more effective lookalike audiences. Here are some data sources to consider:

  • Transactional Data:
    • Purchase History: Identifies high-value customers based on buying patterns.
    • POS Data: Adds depth to understanding customer behaviors.
  • Demographic Data:
    • Age, Gender, Location: Helps understand broader customer characteristics.
  • Psychographic Data:
    • Interests and Preferences: Provides insights into lifestyles and values for personalized targeting.
    • Brand Affinity: Guides more effective audience creation.
  • Behavioral Data:
    • Website and App Activity: Indicates user engagement and intent.
    • Social Media Engagement: Highlights interests and behaviors of potential customers.


Life Lessons in Lookalike Audiences


Early in my career, I worked on a campaign for a client who was determined to lower their CPA at all costs. We focused heavily on minimizing expenses, only to find that our conversions were low-quality and often didn’t justify the cost. It was a classic race to the bottom.

In another instance, we used high-quality seed data from engaged customers for a different client. By creating lookalike audiences, we saw a significant improvement in engagement and conversions. The campaign’s success reaffirmed the importance of starting with quality data and focusing on user engagement.


Final Thoughts

Creating lookalike audiences from carefully sourced seed data and enhancing them through Audience Architecture is a powerful way to drive and scale results. By focusing on users with the right behaviors for conversion, you can maximize your marketing efforts and achieve significant growth.


One thing I’ve learned in my years in this industry is that the quality of your audience can make or break a campaign. Start with quality data, refine continuously, and always aim for deeper engagement. These strategies have helped my clients succeed time and again, and I’m confident they can work for you too. If you have any questions or need further insights, feel free to reach out. Here’s to your marketing success!

Maximizing Back-to-School Campaigns



Back-to-school season is near, and it’s a prime opportunity to connect with families and students preparing for the new school year.

Maximize Your Back-to-School Campaign with Retail Affinity Data

This granular consumer data lets you target households based on spending behaviour and much more, maximizing your reach and

ROI while minimizing waste!

Tailored Audience Blueprints for Back-to-School


Customized audience blueprints combining behaviours

with back-to-school purchases.

Utilize audiences across digital channels for maximum effectiveness.

Datadesk: In-Depth Purchase Data Targeting


Datadesk provides comprehensive purchase data, allowing you to target consumers based on their actual spending behaviours:

  • Consumer Transaction Data: Based on total spend and frequency.
  • Behavioural & Affinity Data: 18,000 brand preferences and retail affinities.
  • Household Demographics: Income, age, cultural status, families and more.

Combined Categories with Comprehensive

Affinity Data Based on Retail Behaviours

Over 1000 retail brands to choose from, for example…

The Benefits of Utilizing Purchase Data:

  • Identify and Connect: Reach qualified buyers for offline and online growth.
  • Maximize ROI: Target high-value audiences based on spending.
  • Achieve Scale: 40 million devices and 40% of Canadian transactions.


Targeting Users at Home and Work: What the Walled Gardens and DSPs Aren’t Telling You

What is the most relevant signal in terms of proximity? In mobile advertising many are familiar with the idea of geofencing a radius based on proximity, with less aware of polygon targeting actual visitors to the location itself. A signal we hear less about is proximity to work and home. What does that mean and what is the difference?

Geo fencing is based on targeting a device within a defined area (the “fence”) in proximity to a specific location (such as a store), while targeting users at work or home is based on where they actually live or work in proximity to that store.

Why does this matter?

When you are trying to influence consumers, what is more important: they are in a location in that moment or targeting them in a location where they spend most of their time? We know it takes multiple touch points to influence consumers, so it’s important to apply reach and frequency along with location. To which you might say, ‘Ok sure, but I can already do that in my DSP, thank you very much.’

To which I would say, ‘Well actually, you can’t.’

When targeting in any digital platform such as Google Ads, Facebook, or a DSP you can apply filters like postal code targeting, yet these filters have limitations:

1. Targeting is limited to the first 3 digits of a postal code (Called FSA – about 8,000 Households) not the entire 6 digit postal code (12 to 18 households), a huge difference.

2. In Canada, the most robust, privacy compliant data segments are 6-digit postal code. (For example, Environics has over 24,000 6-digit postal code segments).

Ok, so it turns out digital platforms need a tool to do this level of targeting. How does this work?

Some use IP address to resolve to the 6 digit level, but IP addresses are extremely inaccurate, and Google for one is planning to take them out soon, with pressure from the GDPR and major lawsuits in Europe over privacy violations. With G4,the new version of Google Analytics, IP address will not be included as a tracked parameter.

With privacy compliance in mind, Connected Interactive uses mobile device IDs with GPS coordinates that allow marketers to understand a devices home postal code from a month or two of activity, which adheres to privacy laws while proving to be a scalable solution. And with 28MM verified mobile devices, we can then cross device target and expand to a larger channel mix.

With our device-level data linked to postal codes we are then able to tie in purchase behavior from Moneris’ POS systems, credit card data and a massive amount of household behavior that can then be augmented with other online attributes. Addressable TVs have a bright future using this type of data and even flyers are making a comeback as part of an omnichannel strategy – not that they ever left, really.

In the end, with new privacy compliance laws and the resulting changes to platforms and technology, how we think of 3rd party data and measurement will evolve, but 6-digit postal code targeting will remain an incredible source of information that can be used to understand consumer behavior and utilized for more accurate data mapping and user targeting driving increased sales, purchase volume and more.

Retail Media the next big trend in digital advertising with massive revenue opportunities

First, what is Retail Media? The best way to describe is the Shopper Marketing version of digital advertising, where brands use in-store promotions to drive sales in close proximity to where the consumer actually buys their product. So, you can imagine the appeal for brands who spend significantly on this type of advertising to access a retailer’s 1st party sales data for accurate measurement and targeting.

Access to this data is driving massive growth in retail media, which is of huge value in the advertising data landscape and is the most robust way to target lower-funnel consumers vs. top and mid-funnel advertising, which is moving to more of an aggregated data model (cohorts).

Larger retail platforms have created walled gardens where advertisers can work inside this environment using data from retailer consumer data platforms ( CDPs ), but no user data leaves. Advertisers can target users based on their purchase behaviour and other prediction signals, which are an extremely efficient way to target digital spending.

In terms of players, Amazon is the 50 foot giant of course, launching an entire advertising suite including Amazon DSP ( Demand Side Platform), but Walmart has been doing this for some time and was an early adopter in developing an ad platform for the digital space. Now we have large retailers following the trend: Lowes, Target, Kroger, Home Depot and more in just two short years.  In Canada, Loblaws is leading the charge, with other major retailers on the way.

In the travel space, now we see Marriot launching their own advertising platform with this trend pollinating into other verticals. Travel is one of the largest categories in both online spending and web searches, so this feels like a natural evolutionary step. Utilizing a massive amount of data and leveraging the role they play in a customer’s business or personal travel, Marriot has the advantage over even a behemoth like Google. They can drive an entirely new revenue source while at the same time improving their customer experience with app features like wireless keys and concierge services that book dinner reservations plan tours etc. It’s a beautiful marriage of monetizing data to improve user experience as social networks have been doing for more than a decade now.

Pitfalls to ponder…

How will the user experience be connected across all these channels so you can properly measure and plan the user journey?

How will a brand measure the sales that come from these networks?

A consumer does not buy your product from seeing one ad but considers it through a combination of awareness and engagement and that last push needs to be measured as part of an entire journey or advertisers could end up missing the real opportunity to drive sustainable growth.

This is the same issue brands face when using outdated last click attribution models before purchase or online conversion. If you end up spending all your dollars on the last click or last impression you will ultimately fail and never be able to really grow.

Advertisers need to be careful not to fall into the trap of giving all the credit to that last engagement and properly measuring the journey utilizing omnichannel measurement to achieve ultimate success. Once Google’s next evolution of the cookie is revealed the game will change, but either way Shopper Marketing and Retail Media will still have a whole new face. Brands will have even more channels to consider as they try to understand where to spend and balance their finite ad dollars and understand the part that each channel plays in the overall success of sustainable and incremental growth.

Moneris and Connected Interactive Partner to Bring Retail Purchase Data to Canadian Marketers

Toronto, May 25th 2022

Moneris, the leading provider of retail payment processing in Canada, and Connected
Interactive, a leading Canadian supplier of custom audiences for the digital marketing
ecosystem, today announced a new partnership to bring highly coveted retail audience
data to the Canadian advertising industry. Through CI, with exclusive representation
from JSquare2 agency in the Quebec market, Moneris retail purchase audiences will be
accessible to Canadian marketers in a collaboration that has been anticipated and
desired by the Canadian marketing industry for quite some time.

“A deeper understanding of audiences and more informed marketing decisions all begin
with having the right data at your fingertips,” says Sanjeev Chib, Managing Director of
Spendscape, Moneris’ data solutions subsidiary. “Our partnership with CI is an exciting
step forward in applying Moneris’ data to the world of digital advertising, bringing data
within reach of marketers, and helping them see the retail landscape more clearly.”
This partnership ensures that now there is finally a tailor-made, 360 degree view of the
Canadian retail purchase landscape specifically designed for the current Canadian
digital advertising ecosystem, that covers all major credit and debit transactions as well
as newer forms of payment such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

“We consider this partnership to be a perfect fit for us as we aim to provide our clients
and partners with transparent and effective purchase data to drive growth and makes CI
the largest provider of purchase data for the digital advertising industry in Canada”,
noted Noel Geer, CI’s chief executive and founder.

“With hundreds of different categories covering purchase behavior amongst Canadian
consumers from coast to coast, this is the most comprehensive set of audiences
available for retail behavior in Canada available to digital marketers and has been
anticipated for some time”, noted founder and president Lyle Wagner.

The audiences were created as a unique 2 year collaboration between CI’s engineering,
operational team and Moneris product team and data scientists to create a customized
unique set of audiences designed specifically for the unique privacy requirements of the
Canadian market.

This ensures that marketers using this data can be assured of adherence to Canadian
privacy regulations, as well as the highest level of industry know-how and experience in
utilizing purchase data for marketing purposes thanks to Moneris’ peerless position
within the Canadian financial industry and CI’s years of deep experience successfully
working within these parameters for the benefit of Canadian marketers. Moneris
audiences will be available soon as a managed service and later will be available in CI’s platform, the leading self-serve audience buying platform for digital
advertising in Canada.

Connected Interactive is Canada’s leading independent provider of digital advertising
audience and media buying solutions through managed service or, as well
as providing mobile app marketing services and consulting covering operations and
technical development through CI Tech Labs.

About Moneris

Moneris is Canada’s largest provider of innovative, unified solutions for mobile, online
and in-store payments, processing more than one in three transactions. Serving
businesses of every size and industry, Moneris offers hardware, software and solutions
to help transform the way businesses grow and operate, in payments and beyond.
For more information please visit and follow @moneris.